Federal payroll processor: Oct. 11 is deadline to avert feds’ getting incomplete paychecks
If Congress fails to restore funding to federal agencies, most federal workers will only receive a partial paycheck on Oct. 13.
If Congress fails to pass a bill to keep the government open this weekend, the next major deadline facing lawmakers appears to be Oct. 11.
That’s because that is the last day that a funding bill can be enacted before federal workers will begin losing out on pay.
According to the General Services Administration’s payroll calendar, the vast majority of federal employees received a paycheck on Friday, corresponding with the work they did between Sept. 10 and Sept. 23. The current biweekly pay period—pay period 20 of 2023—runs from Sept. 24 until Oct. 7.
Office of Personnel Management officials confirmed to Government Executive that in the event of a prolonged shutdown, federal employees will only see a partial paycheck on Oct. 13—essentially half of a paycheck for workers on a traditional 40-hour, Monday to Friday, work schedule.
Thanks to reforms enacted following the 35-day partial government shutdown that began in December 2018, all federal employees will automatically receive backpay following a lapse in appropriations, whether they were furloughed or required to work without pay. So in the case of a short shutdown, federal payroll processors could ensure that all federal employees receive a full paycheck on the 13th.
The Agriculture Department’s National Finance Center provides payroll services to more than 130 agencies across the federal government. A USDA spokesperson said that the window to fund the government before federal workers begin missing pay will close on Oct. 11.
“Pay for federal employees will be disbursed as normal for pay period (PP) 19 (Sept. 10 to Sept. 23) and will be disbursed by Oct. 2 via electronic fund transfer,” the spokesperson said. “Pay for PP 20 (Sept. 24 to Oct. 7) will be processed on Oct. 13 and be disbursed by Oct. 16 via EFT. If a continuing resolution is passed by Congress and signed into law by Oct. 11, federal employees will be fully paid for PP 20.”
Absent congressional action before midnight on Oct. 1, federal agencies will begin to shutter. For more information on how a lapse in appropriations will impact federal employees' pay and benefits, check Government Executive's guide on the topic.